As I type this it's not looking good for the prospect of any action at Low Farm this coming Saturday. Although the lovely Festive scene depicted above has now disappeared, the moisture associated with it has not! Instead it has transformed parts of the main pitch into a a series of ponds (see below) and with the forecast for more rain and/or snow by the weekend the chances of our game against Thorne Colliery going ahead must be remote.
What frustrates me even more about such situations is the fact that I'm almost certain to finish the week with 50 copies of a match programme that will be then rendered out-of-date for whenever the fixture is rearranged.
Of course you try telling a player that a game scheduled for the following weekend is already in doubt and it's as if you've gone out and p~ssed on the pitch yourself! I always feel myself having to justify the decision to countless doubting souls who've conveniently chosen to only notice the bits of recent weather they want to: "Off? Why? We haven't had any snow since last Saturday!" Try telling them that snow eventually turns into good old water and you can still see the disbelieving look on their faces.
Thankfully Sunday's surprise 30th birthday bash for club captain Andy Graham in The Granby allowed the players a chance for a further bit of bonding ahead of the return to action. This was especially welcome after the inclement conditions the previous week had restricted attendance at the "Sunday Sesh" down Princes Ave.
AG's "Do" allowed me to sample more of the Great Newsome Brewery's Festive tipple, "Yule Do", and very nice it was too.
Sadly, postponement of my attendance at another function, set for the Haven Arms on Monday, means that this is the only cask ale to have passed my lips this Christmas...something I shall certainly be looking to rectify before the return to normality next Monday!Even funnier/more annoying than members of your own club doubting your call on a pitch's fitness is when members of an opposition team do it. Especially when they get in touch beforehand urging you to defy the conditions and get the game on. This happened on the weekend prior to Christmas when heavy snow on the Friday afternoon all but accounted for both the following day's County League games. No sooner had I contacted the opposition manager of the Casuals' opponents, Withernsea Thirds to tell him things looked grim but we'd give it until the following morning before making a final decision, so as to give it every chance of "a miracle", than I was fielding calls and texts from his players asking me what the chances were and could anything be done to ensure the game went ahead. Indeed, one text message simply read: "Make sure it's on". Oh to have such power! Anyway, as the photo of groundsman Brim below shows, it was a snow-go.
Of course the reason why our opponents were so keen for the game to go ahead was their confidence of victory. Predictably so in view of the respective league positions of both teams and the fact that they'd already whipped the Casuals backsides on their own ground back in September. And as we enter 2010 the situation concerning both County League teams is one that requires an upturn in fortunes.
Here's hoping that by the time both return to action - Saturday, January 9 - the weather has improved sufficiently to allow them to at least give it a go.
Ooh, get in there - as I finish this piece Stephen Hunt has just rescued a point for The Tigers at The Reebok. There's an omen in there somewhere...